Francis J. Merkes, 94
July 27, 1922 — Nov. 21, 2016
Francis J. Merkes, 94, of Iron Ridge, passed away Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, at the Aurora Grafton Medical Center with his loving family by his side.
Francis was born July 27, 1922, in the town of Rozellville to Michael and Marie (nee Hennes) Merkes. He was a World War II veteran who proudly served in the United States Army with one year in Japan. He was united in marriage to Lucille H. Lackas on Sept. 1, 1945, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Stratford. He was a mechanic for 38 years at Chrysler Outboard Motor Manufacturing. He was a member of the Hartford VFW and American Legion Posts 62 and 19. Francis was member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodland since 1951, where he also served as treasurer for 30 years. He volunteered with the Woodland Fire Department and was a member of the trap-shooting league for 30 years. Francis also was the president of the Hartford Eagles (Aerie 1954) and the Senior Citizens Club of Iron Ridge for 10 years. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, woodwork and playing cribbage. Francis loved spending time with his family and their vacations, including traveling to Alaska three times, spending his 50th wedding anniversary in Jerusalem in 1995 and, most recently, going on the Honor Flight in November 2011.
Francis is survived by his 10 loving children, Mary Frances of West Bend, Alan Merkes of Slinger, Francis Jr. (Phyllis) Merkes of Rubicon, Paul (Sue) Merkes of Orlando, Florida, Carl (Janet) Merkes of Juneau, Susan Merkes of Waukesha, Mark (Deb) Merkes of Waupun, Leo (Chris) Merkes of Horicon, Earl (Kenn) Merkes of Orlando and Michael Merkes of Burnett; 17 cherished grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; dear brother, Leon (Grace) Merkes of Alaska; and half-siblings, Bernice (Ray) Sawicky of Alabama, Sylvan (Ellsie) Kaiser of Glenhaven, Roger (Eileen) Kaiser of Edgar, Alvin Kaiser of Edgar, Geraldine Peelman of Glenhaven and Ellen Marie (Charles) Neu of Neosho. He is further survived by many loved nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Henry and Caroline (nee Kaiser) Lackas; his beloved wife of 62 years, Lucille; dear grandson, “Sonny” Alan Merkes Jr. and great-grandsons, James Merkes and Avery Fluhr; half-siblings, Raymond Merkes and Helen Dosch; many siblings-in-law; and daughter-in-law, Mary Lange.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Francis will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at St. John’s Catholic Church (W1170 Rome Road, Rubicon, WI 53078) with the Rev. David LaPlante officiating. Family will greet relatives and friends at the church Tuesday from 10-10:45 a.m.
Additional visitation will be held from 3-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at the Shimon Funeral Home (824 Union St., Hartford, WI 53027) Internment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Woodland.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. John’s Catholic Church in Rubicon for Masses in Francis’ name are appreciated.
The Shimon Funeral Home is assisting the family: 262-673-9500 or www.shimonfuneralhome.com.